Stan stalks through the city, the heavy mist and heat cause a fog to appear during the evening. Sunset was an hour ago, viability is difficult, one could scarcely see ten feet. Stan runs at three quarters speed unwinded from training, he is able to cover ground quickly, six of his men trail behind, keeping pace. The buildings that they run between are no taller than four stories, densely packed together, narrow passages snake through the entire city.
Stan makes a right down the alleyway, a two-way clearing is at the end of the alleyway. Without words two of his men take the path on the right and two take the left.
Using a grappling hook he scales the ten foot wall. He sees 8 men in Police uniforms on the other side. Silently sliding down the wall, Stan remains hidden behind a water trough. His face is concealed by the hood of his cloak, he draws his short sword, he hold it close to his body. Stan runs out from behind the trough.
Some of the men hold lanterns but the fog makes them blind, the added smoke bombs make it difficult even more unsightly.
“Watch out, it's an ambush, keep your rifles at the ready” Shouts one of the men, as screams from the others fill the street.
The men struggle to keep their rifles steady, Standing near the leader of the patrol, is a young man holding a lantern, Stan observes his frightened face, and the look of surprise as his short sword sinks quickly into his kidney. Just as fast as Stan's blade enters the young man, it is withdrawn. Slippery from the fluids of war; the retracted blade is quickly slashed down, cutting the boys artery!
Pushing off his back foot Stan pressed his attack as the leader turns with a revolver, Stan moves out of the way, ducking forward, keeping a low center of gravity, he catches the leader in the calf!
Slicing a large chunk off, reeling in pain the leader fires wildly, Stan positions his short sword with godlike speed...
The blade strikes the barrel of the revolver, two shots escape the weapon before it leaves its masters hands. The leader shot one of his own men. Standing above the leader, Stan draws the short sword from his opponent’s collar bone.
No time to stop he looks around at the fight for the next opponent, only to see the last one run through with a sword. “Keep moving” Stan orders and his men take off running again.
The squad ambushed three more groups like this. All was going well until as they ran through a residential district, Stan spies alone police officer with a lantern near a light post. Stan kept two of his men in the shadows as they surrounded him,
One of Stan’s men darts forward he draws his short sword mid stride . As if expecting an attack the Police officer turns, blocking the sword with a quick reflexes that could rival Stans. At last Stan found an opponent worth fighting.
The police officer's deflects a strike and lands an counter attack, impaling one of Stan's men. Stan curses, he is unsure who of his is dead.
The impaled man tries to defend against another attack but is not quick enough. He is sliced on his side, from hip to armpit, his guts leaked out his side. The officer pushes forward with his sword, shaking the corpse off!
Carl, one of Stan's men lingering nearby out of anger charges him longsword in hand, the Police Officer didn’t carry a saber like most officers, instead he held a real longsword.
Carl took several bad hits, one on his shin, forearm and stomach, the last strike had him dripping blood. Another man named, Neil couldn’t sit still as the duel commenced, as if he anticipated it, the officer dodges Neil's strike, on the Officer's backswing he catches Neil in the side of the head, in the motion he lops off a piece of his skull!!
Stan had enough moving forward, his right hand held onto his scabbard. The sword is free of his hip. Stan's sprint increases his speed. Then his left hand moves at an incredible rate of speed...
As the blade lashes out the officer, parries the strike, moving with the inertia of the parry, Stan positions his sword for another strike, again parried...
This continued for several long minutes, until he caught the officer with a right hook to the face!
Lashing down with his sword the officer rolls, and kicks out the shin of Stan, backing off Stan loses his short sword in the process, both men get to their feet, the officer still holds his sword and charges, Stan waits patiently and draws his longsword, both men’s motions are too fast to see.
In the blink of an eye they both stand apart, the officer drops to his knee and then onto his front. The front of Stans cloak is stained with blood, the man got two good cuts on him. Stan staggers while limping over to the enemy.
Stan kicks the officer over and looks into his dying eyes, he sticks his blade into the man’s heart ending his life. Stans attack that beat him had punctured his stomach several times but the slice to the ankle is what caused the officer to drop.
“Let’s continue we still have more ground to cover.” Levi his second in command protests.
“My Lord, please take a second to look”. The bodies of his men still leak blood into the gutter, poor Carl is hunched over with his hand covering his wound.
“Carl, look over by the wall, I see the cop’s horse, take it back to the hideout get your wound dressed.” Stan continues running his men follow.
He didn’t protest he knew better than to voice his concerns to much, he only worried that their depleted man power would make them less lethal. They climb to the top of a building. From the vantage point they see a door open, bathing the pitch-black night in a beam of light. Three men in suits walkout of the building they are staggering drunk with them are 8 retainers one of which Stan recognizes as Slade as contract killer, they must have hired him for protection.
“Sir we should wait until tomorrow we don’t have enough men to take the retainers and Slade.” Stan answered his concerns by diving forward, he silently sprinted along the rooftop jumping from one roof to another.
From a pouch he draws three smoke bombs tossing them down below as he flies off a second story rooftop onto the party, he gets two soldiers with his long sword, he hears clashes and grunts around him.
Stan charges forward striking one of the city councilmen in the nape of the neck. Slade steps forward and tosses a knife. Reacting quickly Stan blocks the weapon with his blade, another one comes at him, he sees it last second and moves.
Gaining the uphand, Slade’s long sword lashes out, the strike cuts open Stans cheek! Blood gushes down his face. Stan struggled to keep up, his fight with the police officer all but exhausted him.
The thought of glory pushes him forward, he lost his short sword as Slade cut him on his shoulder, he felt warm blood slipping down his side. Stan hold his long sword back, his arm stands poised to strike his right arm curves around the blade, fingertips extended hover at the tip of the blade.
“You mutts are all the same, fighting for a lost cause...” Curses Slade, after his utterance he charges at full speed, he pivots on his right foot hoping to catch Stan off guard.
Instead Stan took a hop back, launching forward he matches Slade’s speed. Stan’s attack hits first tearing through the edge of Slade’s rib cage, blood drips out of both men as they size each other up for another strike.
Stan charges forward, swiping six slashes at Slade, who can’t keep up with his injuries, Stan catches him with the blunt edge of his blade on his collar bone, and rakes the blade across his neck, in the same motion slade rolls and hits the ground hard, bleeding out.
Stan looks around only two of the city councilmen alive, two of his men are standing, the councilmen are cornered by his men they offer up cash for their lives, Stan pulls the rope up from a nearby well. “Here hang them!” when the politicians were hanging from a light post, satisfied with his punishment Stan decides to retire.
Back at his hideout he finds two other squads had retired for the night. “My Lord how many did you get?” asks Bernie. Bernie holds down the hideout while the squads perform raids.
Stan does the math in his head. “We killed a group of 9, 8 and 7 then we came across a Police officer. He was extremely skilled he killed two of our men. Lastly, we were able to ambush a trio of Politicians. I killed the Samurai known as Slade, with him 8 police officers fell. 36 loyalist total were killed by us.” Bernie looked impressed.
“You went after Slade, squad five passed on that group, total tonight that puts our kills at 125. Lord Berrett will soon be here with a battalion. He wants us to make an attempt on the Castle before he sacks the city, he said you can have the Emperor’s daughter.” Stan raises his eyebrow... Bernie is cut off as the last squad arrives for the night they are breathless their squad leader speaks to Stan and Bernie.
“The Feudal King has dispatched the royal guard to secure the city.” Stan smiles and picks up his swords tucking them in place. Looking around at his men he counts less than 50 men. Edo Castle had something he wanted. The emperor’s children from his German concubine were in the Castle.
“We attack the Castle tonight, while it is unguarded our goal is simple kill anyone who challenges us, that daughter will be mine. Which means we will still have to cut our way into the family apartments. You ten I want you in pairs of two, light the fires and set the city ablaze we need to keep all the police occupied.”